It’s official! A Brightline high-speed train will connect Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs shopping and dining complex. The announcement was made jointly by Brightline and Walt Disney World Resort (WDW).
Brightline (which had been in partnership with Virgin Trains, but then wasn’t) already runs a train between Miami and Palm Beach (Joe and I rode it last year – here’s what it’s like). They’re also in the midst of running track which will connect that line to the currently-being-constructed Terminal C of MCO (here’s what the new terminal looked like when we visited last year).
Brightline and Disney have been in discussion for over a year regarding extending the line from MCO to WDW.
“Brightline will offer a car-free connection to the millions of visitors from around the state and the world who plan to make Walt Disney World Resort part of their vacation plans,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Our mission has always been to connect our guests to the people and places that matter, and Walt Disney World is a tremendous example of this.”
“We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests, ” added Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort.
Brightline said the proposed Disney Springs station will include a lobby on the ground level of the station, passenger facilities and then an upper-level train platform.
As per Brightline, the agreement is conditioned upon certain obligations, including obtaining government approvals.
They have not said exactly where at Disney Springs the station will be. There’s also currently no estimate of construction will begin, or how the project will be funded. However it’s expected to take at least 2 to 3 years to complete once construction begins. The MCO station is expected to be completed in 2022.
For years, Walt Disney World has been offering Disney’s Magical Express, a fleet of buses provided by Mears Transportation Services, as a free means of transport between MCO and WDW resort hotels. There’s no word yet on how this new Brightline connection may affect that established system. However ever since there’s been musings of Brightline expanding into the Orlando area and talking to Disney, I’ve suspected the train will eventually be an “instead of,” rather than “in addition to” Disney’s Magical Express. Time will tell.
Brightline is also planning an eventual extension to Tampa, and has expressed interested in eventual service to Jacksonville.
Feature Photo: Don Blemins/Wikimedia Commons
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 16,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary